March 5, 2022

sunflowers for Ukraine

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. If you’d like to make some sunflower blocks to remember Ukraine, here are some free patterns for relatively easy pieced blocks. Some are just photos, some include the steps. Would anyone like to contribute some blocks to make a project that we could use to make money to donate to a charity helping Ukranians? I’m thinking that since Ukranian refugees are expected here in Buffalo, we could keep our donation close to home. Let me know in the comments below if you’d be interested, and we’ll get together to plan. free patterns: click here  or here  or here If you search for “free sunflower quilt blocks” you’ll find lots of options.
March 4, 2022

helping Ukraine

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m sure you all are as horrified as I am by the war being fought in Ukraine. I have been trying to come up with a way to help. Today I got a newsletter from the quilter Ami Simms. It’s been a long time since she visited us, but she still is quilting and crafting. She suggests that we go to the site Etsy and purchase digital crafts from Ukranian makers. She also includes a link to a charity. I’m including a link to her newsletter so you can decide if her suggestion suits you or not. Click here for Ami’s newsletter. If you learn of other reputable charities, or charitable efforts let me know and I will share them here.
March 2, 2022

national quilting month

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Every year March is set aside as National Quilting Month. Guilds hold special events for their members. We will be celebrating our guild’s birthday at our meeting this month. We were founded in 1975–so 47 years for this group exploring quilting in its many dimensions. I’m finding that I make many more small quilted projects of late–wall hangings, table runners, zip pouches, etc–than the larger lap robes and bed quilts. How about you? I got out my St. Patrick’s Day/March pieces yesterday and have decided I need one or two more small pieces. This small wall hanging of a shamrock came in my Facebook feed a few days ago. It’s a quick project, and will use scraps–both get checked in the plus column. I think I might go buy a piece of felt for the backing–or perhaps I’ll stick with my resolution to use fabrics […]
December 29, 2021

finishing 2021

Hello all, Mary Ellen here, I’ll be glad to see the end of 2021. Hoping that 2022 will bring the end of all of our COVID travails. I’ve started on a long overdue clean up of all of the fabric scraps I’ve saved. First I decided to throw away the small scraps that I thought I’d be using in paper foundation piecing. That made a lot of space in the 2 bins. I had originally divided the scraps into lights and darks–but I found that there was a lot of crossover. How light is light? How dark is dark? I now have them sorted by color–using the great big ziplock bags which I then put into the 2 bins. Novelties are in their own bag, black/gray in theirs, and browns in theirs. Do you have a good system for scraps? I’d like to get them organized into some method where […]
December 17, 2021

last minute gifts

Hello all, Mary Ellen here.Are you, like me, in the last minute scramble of making sure you have gifts for everyone? I had forgotten about getting things for the newspaper delivery person, the mail carrier, and a few others. I also have some very nice neighbors who help me out frequently so I can’t forget them! I came across a very easy and cute pattern for origami gift bags that I will be making as part of the gifting–plan to load them with some cookies or quick bread. You might like to try this pattern out too. Honestly it takes longer to choose the fabrics than to construct the bags. I’m a fan of Gudrun Erla’s patterns and you’ll find this one and some other nice ones at her website under the shop menu, under free patterns. I think you’ll like these. I can vouch for the easy apron pattern […]
October 20, 2021

getting back to the new normal

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m feeling like my small portion of the world is getting back to normal a bit. Whatever the new normal is going to be anyway.  There are parts of the old normal I won’t miss, and parts of the new normal I’m not happy about but…isn’t that what “normal” is all about? There’s been so much in the news of late about shopping delays with the advice to get Christmas shopping done ASAP. I’ve decided to do some of my “shopping” from the crafts I’ve done through COVID and some of it from my stash of craft supplies. I’m going to try to get a few sock knitting and fingerless glove projects organized for knitting in front of the tv. My nieces always like quilted projects so I’ve been looking for fast and easy quilts. The fastest project I know of is a jelly roll […]
August 2, 2021

block too small?

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m sure we all have experienced trying to work with a block which is too small–not quite what the designer called for the size of the raw block to be. Even those of us who have been at this quilting thing for a long time have those days when even a good steam/stretch cannot make the block the size it should be. And if you’ve ever participated in a block swap you know that there seems to be a wide variety in rulers out there! Here’s a hint from our Linda H. to enable you to work with small variations. It won’t help you if your block is WAAAAYY too small, but if it’s just a bit this hint will save you having to redo the piecing. Please do not photocopy this handout for friends. If they would like a copy give them the blog […]
July 31, 2021

back to school supplies

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. Already the back to school ads are appearing on tv and in print. Before I retired I used to hate to see those beginning –summer vacation was on the downhill! Now I react differently–it’s time to get those supplies to use in my quilting! The prices are great at this time of year–watch for the loss leaders! My favorite school supply that I use for all sorts of things is Elmer’s washable school glue. The number one use for me is holding my bindings in place for hand or machine stitching. Once I discovered how well this works I have not looked back! A second use for me is holding miters in place on borders and sashings. The glue makes accuracy so much easier! The washable glue in stick form is great for holding appliques, buttons and other embellishments in place temporarily. (There may be […]
June 18, 2021

free motion

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. It’s been quite a while since my last post. Life gets away from me sometimes. How about you? The garden is still a work in progress. Will those maple whirlygigs ever be finished falling? It seems I rake and sweep them up and in an hour or so it looks like I never did it. Oh well, those of us who are gardeners put up with those things I guess. What patriotic quilts are you getting our for the 4th of July? I have a set of 4 placemats that feature red, white and blue fabrics that I use for most of the summer. They work well on the tray that takes my dinner or lunch out onto the deck. Do you have a favorite summer project? I seem to gravitate to watermelon colors and designs for the summer too. Any that you can share […]
May 21, 2021

Quilts in Congress

Hello all, Mary Ellen here. I’m hoping our notification issues with blog posts have been resolved. If a few of you comment on this post today, that will help me and Shez ( our web guy ) know whether or not the problem is now solved. Last night’s guild meeting was enjoyable. The ruler demos were great; I always learn something new from our resident experts. Congratulations to Annette M-G who won our guild’s spring challenge. We were each given a postcard which we were to interpret in any manner we chose in quilt form. Annette’s block printing of drift wood found along Lake Erie ( I believe, correct me Annette if I’m incorrect) was a perfect interpretation of the Japanese print on her postcard. It also was a perfect complement to Betty L’s early bird special on printing from nature. She demoed using vegetables and air brush paint in […]